Facebook Changes Its News Feed; How You Can Get Your Local News

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If you've been on Facebook over the previous year or more, even for five minutes, you've probably noticed that your newsfeed has less statuses or posts from your friends, but more posts from pages you've liked or groups you've joined.

As it has often done in recent years, Facebook appears to be copying Snapchat, which redesigned its app in November to partition professionally produced news and entertainment from personal diary-style content. The biggest one has to do with the only business model that has worked so far in social media monetisation - the ad-based one.

Well, we can't turn back the clock, but we will start seeing more posts from friends in our feed.

Tweaking the news feed to encourage people to talk about their personal lives might, therefore, be seen as a means of increasing Facebook's commercial value.

We're used to seeing ads when reading or watching the news or otherwise interacting with professionally produced content. From my user perspective, I want to use Facebook to interact with my family and friends and not to see my newsfeed filled with content from publications or other pages I've liked. In July, 2017, Mr Zuckerberg wasn't particularly happy with how that experiment was going. Also, it may be worth considering hosting more community and offline activities. Moving into media with superior distribution tools and targeting opportunities was an easier sell.

Social media has become a more significant platform to advertise the business and give a considerable boost to sales.

Image Roger McNamee Sandy Parakilas and Tristan Harris talk to Jo Ling Kent
Roger McNamee Sandy Parakilas and Tristan Harris talk to Jo Ling Kent. NBC News

Given the scale of changes in many newsrooms, Navarra said there would be "a lot of angry and upset industry players today who will feel they have been cheated or played by [Mark] Zuckerberg". "He had no idea that Facebook had created Explore or was placing news there".

However, Facebook's prioritising of video was unlikely to end soon, he said, as it attempted to push users to its Watch video platform - an attempt to rival YouTube. "The future of effective social media campaigning lies not with broadcasting messages from the centre, but in equipping supporters on the ground with the tools, content and confidence they need to be the voices of our cause, sharing messages with the authenticity and passion they deserve". Journalists everywhere proudly display their work to "friends" they've never met. "It's not good for the users of Facebook".

In other words, there were consequences to Facebook's decision to introduce itself as a primary news source, only to abandon that role. Forcing the platform to pay for news content that's shared on it, the way it now pays music publishers for the rights they own, could force the network to think harder about how to get rid of that content.

McNamee also wrote for The Washington Post, noting how the social media site was a prime platform for abusers.

Even in the absence of such regulation, though, it's nice that Mr Zuckerberg is coming around to leaving news to professionals.

He is urging TAPinto readers to take action so they no longer rely on Facebook.

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